For many of us the term empowerment is hard to understand.

In its broadest sense, empowerment is the expansion of freedom of choice and action. It means increasing one’s authority and control over the resources and decisions that affect one’s life. As people exercise real choice, they gain increased control over their lives. Poor
people’s choices are extremely limited, both by their lack of assets and by their powerlessness to negotiate better terms for themselves with a range of institutions, both formal and informal. Since powerlessness is embedded in the nature of institutional relations, in the context of poverty reduction an institutional definition of empowerment is appropriate. {US Economic study 2000]

The term empowerment covers a vast landscape of meanings, interpretations, definitions and disciplines ranging from psychology and philosophy to the highly commercialized self-help industry and motivational sciences.

Sociological empowerment often addresses members of groups that social discrimination processes have excluded from decision-making processes through – for example – discrimination based on disability, race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Empowerment as a methodology is often associated with feminism: see consciousness-raising. [Wikipedia]